Alberta Premier Danielle Smith (Photo: Legislative Assembly of Alberta).

Danielle Smith’s obedient United Conservative Party Caucus rammed through the premier’s so-called Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act in the wee hours of yesterday morning.

Opposition Leader Rachel Notley called for the Sovereignty Act to be referred immediately to the Alberta Court of Appeal (Photo: Legislative Assembly of Alberta).

The government’s use of time limits on debate was no surprise. The Sovereignty Act – no matter what it ended up saying – is a key part of the Smith Government’s re-election strategy. 

Premier Smith will be anxious to start using it to pick fights with Ottawa and paint the NDP Opposition as anti-Alberta for voting against what is bound to be a long string of fatuous anti-Canadian Sovereignty Act resolutions proposed by UCP MLAs.

The government will hope the resulting brouhaha, in turn, diverts attention from its embarrassing failures, for example its mishandling of the ongoing crisis in health care, a file widely viewed by voters as an NDP strength.

The health care crisis, unfortunately for the UCP, is unlikely to be fixed by the health minister signing a contract with a sketchy Turkish company to manufacture emergency supplies of children’s painkiller.

Much was made in the morning-after spot-news coverage of Wednesday night’s debate about the fact Bill 1 as passed had been amended to delete Ms. Smith’s unconstitutional effort to allow her cabinet to bypass elected MLAs and change laws without a vote in the Legislature.

Prime Minister Justice Trudeau – Alberta’s Sovereignty Act is part of the Conservative campaign against the Liberal Government in Ottawa (Photo: Justin Trudeau/Flickr).

This was an improvement. But the fact remains the law is still virtually certain to be found unconstitutional as it allows the Alberta Legislature, now apparently dominated by recently converted Alberta separatists, to usurp the power of Canada’s courts to adjudicate jurisdictional disputes between the federal and provincial governments. 

NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley immediately called on the government to refer the act to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. “The act still attempts to give Smith and her Cabinet the power to decide what the constitution says,” she said. “This function has always been reserved for the courts.”

Of course, as a lawyer, Ms. Notley is reasonably familiar with Canada’s constitution. 

By contrast, Ms. Smith’s remarks during debate Wednesday night included statements that suggested a shakier understanding of the constitution. 

“It’s not like Ottawa is a national government,” the premier said at one point during the debate. “The way our country works is that we are a federation of sovereign, independent jurisdictions,” she went on, apparently confusing Canada with the European Union.

Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Regardless, there is no way the UCP wants to let the courts have a go at the act just now, when it still has a performative role to play in the next Alberta election and the federal Conservative campaign against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals in Ottawa. 

Meanwhile in the national capital, Mr. Trudeau, whose father once earned a brown belt in Judo, used the Alberta Government’s success passing the legislation to deflect Ms. Smith’s desire to pick an immediate fight. 

“We are not going to get into arguing about something that obviously is the Alberta government trying to push back at the federal government,” Mr. Trudeau said. “We are going to continue to work as constructively as possible.”

There was the unspoken caveat, of course, that it is going to be almost impossible for Ottawa to work constructively with Alberta as long as Ms. Smith is premier. 

In the Legislature Wednesday night, Ms. Notley also observed that the UCP Government failed to consult First Nation treaty chiefs before introducing the bill, arguing that will “absolutely torch the critically important nation-to-nation relationship that should exist between this premier and the leaders of the treaties.”

Former UCP leadership candidate and Sovereignty Act critic Rebecca Schulz, now Ms. Smith’s municipal affairs minister, was not on hand to vote for or against the act (Photo: David J. Climenhaga). 

The UCP’s Indigenous relations minister, Rick Wilson, stepped outside the bounds of the traditional doctrine of cabinet collective responsibility to publicly criticize the actions of the government on this aspect of the passage of the act. 

“I’ve been on the phone, of course, with First Nations leaders across the province and a lot of the concerns are around just calling it the Sovereignty Act,” he told reporters. “There’s not a lot of clarification around what that means. Should we have done more consultation? Absolutely.”

Perhaps tellingly, none of the four members of Premier Smith’s cabinet who assailed the Sovereignty Act as a dangerous “fairy tale” when they were candidates in the UCP leadership race showed up in the House for the voting on Wednesday night and yesterday morning. 

There was no sign of Finance Minister Travis Toews, Municipal Affairs Minister Rebecca Schulz, Jobs and Northern Development Minister Brian Jean, or Trade Minister Rajan Sawhney, who once said Ms. Smith must “hold off on passing the Sovereignty Act until she gets a mandate from the people of Alberta in a general election.”

Likewise, Environment Minister Sonya Savage, another harsh critic of the Sovereignty Act back in the day was missing in action when she had the chance to vote against it. 

Portrait of Notley unveiled at Legislature 

Opposition Leader and former premier Rachel Notley watches as Legislature pages unveil her new portrait yesterday (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

There was no sign of Premier Smith at the unveiling of Ms. Notley’s official portrait in the Rotunda of the Legislature yesterday. The premier pleaded an important meeting and sent one of her deputy premiers, Nathan Neudorf, to represent the government at the gathering. 

I guess she didn’t want to be seen in the same place as Ms. Notley like a pair of prizefighters sizing each other up at a pre-match weigh-in!

Notwithstanding the fact most premiers make showing off their portrait their final act in provincial politics, Ms. Notley told the crowd of about 100 family, friends, supporters and media that “I remain very focused on my future” before the cover was whipped off the portrait. 

She suggested to laughter that her audience use the hashtag #RunningAgain on any social media posts about the event.

“So I guess what I’m saying,” the Opposition leader who was Alberta’s premier from 2015 to 2019 told Speaker Nathan Cooper, who acted as master of ceremonies, “I’d like to begin my 30-minute address laying out my case for a second portrait.” 

It was not a 30-minute address, of course, and Mr. Cooper obligingly chortled, “Order! Order!”

The canvas is the work of David Goatley, who also painted the late Jim Prentice’s official portrait. 

Join the Conversation

39 Comments

  1. Danielle Smith appears ignorant if Canada’s constitution. Canada is not a federation of ten sovereigns provinces. It was designed a highly centralized quasi-federal state.

    1. I agree. Danielle Smith has argued that MLAs, by virtue of being democratically elected, are qualified to determine if a federal statute is constitutional. She doesn’t seem to consider that familiarity with the constitution is also required. How can someone decide if a statute is constitutional if they have not read the constitution? She seems to think unconstitutional is synonymous with undesired.

      One of my favorite memories of the George W. Bush presidency was when, just before Bush started the Iraq war, a television interviewer presented him with an unlabeled map and Bush was unable to find the country he wanted to invade. In the same vein, I would love it if, during question period, an NDP MLA would ask a member of the UCP a question that would be really easy if they had ever looked at the Canadian constitution (eg. What is the name of the document, What year was it passed) and see if they stumble.

    2. Thank you Dr. Brownsey for succinctly pointing out a basic fact about Canada. It should be humbling to realize that Alberta was an administrative convenience created by Canada in 1905. In 1930, after 25 years of good-governance by the Liberals and the agrarian socialist United Farmers of Alberta, the province was given control of some of Canada’s natural resources. The newly rich Albertans then set out on a 90 year-long drunk, squandering those oil and gas resources. Something we should be ashamed of, but Albertans were so offended by Jim Prentice telling them to look in a mirror, they elected an NDP government.

      The Ab NDP managed to talk Ottawa into paying for expanding the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the west coast. Something the Cons had long claimed would bring back the oil boom. Now that the value of oil and gas to the province has continued to decline, many Albertans are throwing a collective temper tantrum first led by Kenney, and now the glib Ms. Smith.

      American educated Prof. Barry Cooper contends Canada’s constitution is not legitimate. Over the past 30 years his conservative friends have been changing Alberta laws to overturn Court rulings giving fossil fuel companies impunity. Ironically this shows Alberta does not have a government which follows the rule of law or evidence-based policies. They have also demonstrated that the bureaucracy of Alberta has little integrity, even to the extent that they are prepared to see school children die rather than do their jobs and implement a compulsory mask mandate in schools.

      By passing the so-called Sovereignty Act the UCP have again succeeded in showing it is Alberta that does not have a legitimate government. We do not even have to wait to see what the Freemen on the Land types they have empowered will do. We saw that already at Coutts, Ottawa, the Washington uprising, and the attempted coup in Germany.

    3. Keith, the original BNA Act was indeed supposed to set up a strong central government. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

      I can’t cite references, and my memory isn’t perfect, but here’s the gist. In the 1920’s the federal government asked the British government for clarification on the separation of federal and provincial powers. A committee from the House of Lords decided (for whatever reason) in favour of the provinces’ argument that they, not the Feds, should have any “residual powers” not specifically named in the BNA Act. That turned out to be a lot more than John A. MacDonald and the founders intended.

      Since then, and especially since the BNA Act was “patriated” (i.e. brought to Canada from the UK, giving us full control over our Constitution), the provinces have been in a tug-of-war with the federal government over who controls what. It’s not a free-for-all, though. The BNA Act assigns certain powers to the Federal Government, and others to the Provincial Governments. Specific sections, I think 91, 92, 94 and 95, outline who controls what.

      The inevitable grey areas are subject to court challenges and, eventually, rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada. Win some, lose some, and slowly the ambiguities are dealt with. Just to say we did, here are some web links:
      https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/constitution-act-1982
      https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/

      I think it’s time to review the Constitution again. Modern society is shockingly complex compared to 1867, or even 1982. For myself, I’d far sooner have a strong central government 3000 km away in Ottawa, instead of a premier RIGHT HERE who can do whatever she damn well pleases.

      1. Mike: “The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982, s. 91, confer on the Federal Parliament the power ‘to make Laws for the Peace, Order and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces’. This power is ‘residuary’ in the sense that any matter that does not come within the power of provincial legislatures comes within the power of the federal Parliament. This residuary power ensures that every area of legislation comes under one or both of Canada’s two orders of government.” https://www.canada.ca/en/intergovernmental-affairs/services/federation/distribution-legislative-powers.html DJC

  2. The Smiths are in charge now. Smith advisor Barry Cooper got busy making clear that “sovereignty” means “separatism”. In an interview with CBC, Cooper apparently mistook himself for someone elected by the people of Alberta, and threatened to pull Alberta out of confederation. “Sovereignty” was a cover for separatism all along because of the views expressed in the past by The Smiths. What else could sovereignty mean?

    The Smiths don’t care what actual Albertans want. The Smiths do not think Albertans are Canadians. Actual issues of great concern to actual Alberto-Canadians are of no concern to The Smiths. Alberto-Canadians need to STFU, because The Smiths will do all the talking from now on.

  3. H.Walker …I’d rather be a werewolf than a vampire….it was a full moon last night….was it shining over the legislative building ?? just asking…

  4. Actually, whether Smith likes it or not, Ottawa is the national government still. I am surprised this big blooper of hers has not got more notice, but it is a prime example of classic Smith denialiasm or ignoring reality. She often does not seem to let the facts get in the way of her arguments.

    So, UCPers may have to adopt the strategy used to south of the border to deal with such ridiculous comments: pretend they didn’t hear them, minimize them or try to reinterpret them. Perhaps the eventual party line may be she was joking or meant something else. As for the prominent UCP MLAs missing for the vote, well that says something too, even if they are not willing to take the bull by the horns yet. I suppose at this point it could be called profiles in almost courage.

    The PM’s comments about wanting to work constructively with Alberta shows to Canadians and Albertans that it is not the Federal government (yes it is real and exists – look it up in the constitution) that is trying to pick a fight or cause trouble here. It could be interesting to see the Federal Official Opposition leader’s response, but I suspect he is too busy trying to win a by election in Ontario or hiding from the media to be much help to Smith. At least Smith hasn’t said he doesn’t exist, well not yet anyways. So much for the resistance, her Federal allies may already be missing in action.

    It would be good if a quick end could be put to this ridiculousness, but the courts often move slowly. So don’t be surprised if before the election Smith may be going around saying more ridiculous things like the earth is flat or mostly made of hydroxycloroquine. All to distract us from real things like the deputy chief medical officers leaving. Smith fiddles while Alberta burns.

  5. Smith’s statement regarding what Canada is borders on the level of the conspiratorial. Apparently she either dozed off during the Confederation part of Canadian History; or the U of C is not much more than a weird indoctrination centre for the cult-minded.

    All this points to the weirder interpretations what Canada is and promoted by the likes of Ted Morton, Presto Manning, Dead Byfield, Peter Brimlow, William D. Gairdner, to name a few, who have long promoted the notion that Canada isn’t a real country. It’s not real in the sense that it stopped being a real country prior to the Second World War. Before the, it was largely a white rural land, where Christians were everywhere, Asians were cheap labour, and First Nations peoples didn’t have the sense to die off when they should have.

    This is the narrow world view presented by Danielle Smith and every western sovereigntist. It’s decidedly racist and immensely destructive.

    At this point, all PMJT has to do is sit back and let Alberta’s obsession with self-immolation continue. Better to be the sensible adult in the room than the screaming tantrum addicted child.

  6. toews, schulz, jean, sawhney and savage appear to be cowards or persons whose $ervice$ are for $ale if the price is right.

    What I find strange is that neither ctv or global even whispered about the lengthy elaboration by one of the authors of the sovereignty act indicating that smith will be using the threat of leaving Canada as a club to try to get what her puppeteers want.

    IMHO, this lot of miscreants along with their ‘leader’ don’t deserve to be in charge of a community latrine never mind a province.

    As for the painkiller contract, one of the braver Doctors immediately released a statement indicating the medical properties of tylenol do not extend to curing viral and bacterial infections and will do little to ‘cure’ the triple threat facing Albertan children or reduce waiting times, the number of hospitalizations or need for ICU beds.

    It should be remembered the current premier called upon one of trumps advisors for advice on how to deal with the covid situation. His advice was to use the ‘Let ‘er Rip’ to gain herd immunity. He must also have advised kenney and the various ucp ministers of health. It is a despicable act to ensure there are no mask mandates in schools in order to use those children to infect their families in order to spread the virus as efficiently as possible.

    Shame on them all.

  7. Like the dumpster fire you used the other day to illustrate your blog, congrats again on the photo you chose for the passing of the I’m-going-to-stamp-my-foot-and-take-my-ball-home Act in the wee hours when most people are home having their own nightmares. See how grim everyone in the photo looks. Written on every face is: “Whoops. I really have sh*t my pants.”

  8. Honest question: in response to the comment that the GoA was procuring drugs from a “sketchy company”, what exactly makes the Turkish company Atabay Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals “sketchy” (outside of a somewhat unwieldy name that I’m sure sounds better when said in Turkish)?

    A simple Google search on the company reveals no specific news stories or allegations that provide any indication of that company being involved with anything untoward.

    1. DJC….and also to Joe ….from a Turkish Pharmaceutical….say WHAT, why ?? okay Google search, left some crumbs to follow, and follow, and BINGO…I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry …the company is owned by, none other than….wait for it…..Dr Oz’s mom and uncle ..I mean you just can’t make this stuff up…..
      Along with a rather, how shall I say, cryptic tweet….
      “”it is too soon for institutional investors. they move thoughtfully and deliberately. but when they do move it will be quick. hopefully
      it won’t be painful for Alberta. could be a trillion dollar gamble””.

      Excuse me???

      and by the way Joe, you do know that any purchase,as Danielle is said to have been made, does have to go through Health Canada standards, regulations etc. So this is NOT a simple get it on the plane tomorrow and it will be in Alberta the next day.. unless of course, this is going to be her first use of ASWAUCA ??And IMHO , any company that is even remotely associated with Dr Oz , should be red flagged right off the get go. Now the question is, who gave the Premier the company’s name, that is the question that needs to be investigated IMHO..
      And for Mr Copping saying that they will gladly share with the other provinces….my comments will be kept to myself, to save our blogger from anymore work…
      Remember when we were younger and used to look forward to Fridays, as my sister said to me this morning: it’s FF Friday….
      whoopie!!!

      1. This reminds me of the great hero of the Alberta republic who gave away N95s from Alberta’s stock, leaving staff in Alberta hospitals to wear “blue floppies”, source their own supplies during a scarcity at an inflated price, and re-wear used masks while dealing with Covid patients. Never mind that the great hero somehow had his own supply of N95s to hand out sandwiches outdoors to homeless people (sourced from where?) as part of this great giveaway. Now a great hero of the Alberta Acetaminophen is about to be worshipped Alberta should nominate these heroes for sainthood. First, journalists will need to document this hero du jour personally loading boxes of these medications onto a cargo plane, for export to the underprivileged peasants in the hinterlands, such as Ontario.

      2. We had no problem whatsoever buying 2 bottles of Tylenol Children’s grape liquid at Costco last week. Lots on the shelf when we were there. We each bought one. I guess it goes quickly.

        Our friend had the exact same experience at a different Costco location last week.

        Pharmacist told us that they were expecting more over the next 10 days.

    2. Joe: I refer to the many social media posts referencing the relationship of Atabay Pharmaceuticals to Memhet Oz – the physician and Republican politician known for promoting pseudoscience, homeopathy and alternative medicine – through his mother, Suna Atabay, who is a director of the company in question, and the fact that many aspects of the deal do not appear to make sense, including the fact the company is said not to have made this kind of product in the past. In fairness, I suppose you could argue that participation in a deal that sounds sketchy, doesn’t necessarily make all the participants sketchy, just as the involvement of some sketchy players in a company doesn’t make it sketchy either. Still, I’d say there’s enough going on here to set off the sketchy alarm, and I look forward to more coverage of the story by journalists with expertise in international pharma. I would be very interested in knowing how Premier Smith, also a promoter of pseudoscience, homeopathy and alternative medicine with ties to the American Republican Party made contact with this particular company. DJC

  9. It was Peter Lougheed who refused to appear anywhere Ralph Klein was and you couldn’t blame him. Klein in true Reform Party fashion deliberately destroyed everything Lougheed stood for while stupid Albertans let him do it. I will never forget the stupid comments by some of our fellow seniors about how wonderful Klein was. A lawyer friend used to ask them to provide him with a
    list of all the wonderful things Klein had done for him to make him feel that way and the answer was always the same “ He did lots of things” that’s how damn stupid they were and they still are. Hurling sarcastic comments at anyone who isn’t as dumb as them. Now look at the “Horrific Mess” we are in as Lougheed called it, and we can all thank Ralph Klein, Stephen Harper and Preston Manning for being the instigators. They didn’t care about the future of Albertans they were too busy looking after themselves and their rich friends. Here we are in one of the richest places in the world and have one of the highest percentages per capita of people using food banks. It proves how stupid we really are , doesn’t it?

    1. Alan K. Spiller: You sure have it right. People make the false claim that Ralph Klein got Alberta out of debt. It never happened. Public healthcare was gutted, public education wasn’t properly looked after, with droves of nurses and teachers getting layoff notices, social services were given cutbacks, making the destitute even worse off, which increased homelessness in Alberta, utilities and insurance costs skyrocketed, from deregulation and supporting private insurance, and infrastructure was left in a state of disrepair. Ralph Klein also was involved with very pricey boondoggles, and shady business deals, which cost us very large sums of money, and had the worst oil and corporate tax rates, which lost Alberta hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, there’s the orphan well cleanup matter, which sits at an astonishing cost of $260 billion. The Heritage Savings Trust Fund was also ripped off. It’s mindboggling how people praise Ralph Klein. Peter Lougheed was very disgusted with Ralph Klein, and can you blame him? Here we have the same level of ignorance with Danielle Smith and the UCP. It’s always Rachel Notley’s fault, or Justin Trudeau is responsible for what these pretend conservatives and Reformers are doing wrong. You can’t get any dumber than that, can you?

  10. Firstly, I am grateful for your posts because you seem to be the only one who is shining a light upon the wrong-headedness that the UPC/Conservatives perpetuate. Well done! Unlike the mainstream media that is hell-bent on amplifying a narrative ” that everything is horrible, so let’s destroy it all!” your voice is one of measured journalism resulting in sounding alarm when people make decisions that harm others, and as we know the litany of harms the UPC/Conservatives have undertaken because of their ideology is a long list indeed. In fact, some children have recently died because of the UPC’s refusal to fully fund Alberta health care.

    I have some question regarding the Sovereignty Act: What will happen when Alberta senior loose their CCP and OAS benefits? How will the UPC fund these benefits or will they let Alberta seniors go without benefits? If the UPC hold a referendum and they win the day, will a political opposition become moot? Will democracy exist in name only and will the UPC follow Putin’s lead? Will the UPC create an army to go to war against Canada and how will they fund such an endeavour? Will First Nations people loose all federal benefits? Will First Nations people be given complete freedom, really meaning they will have the right to go without any benefits from Alberta: ergo the freedom to struggle, starve, and/or join the corporate, dog-eat-dog world? If Albertans choose to remain Canadian, will they have to leave Alberta? Will Albertans who do not do as the UPC demands become Canadian/Alberta refugees? How will Canada Post, the CBC, and so on function in a place that is opposed to Canada?

    My family has been living here in Alberta before it joined confederation. To think that the UPC want to reshape this place apart from what our forefathers/mothers/sisters/brothers have duly fought for, and the ensuing benefits for all, is extremely dangerous, upsetting, destabilizing, unnecessary, cruel, mean-spirited, and foolish. However, I am fully aware that there are many Albertans who support the UPC and agree with everything they say and do. Yes, they may have their way and happily lead the way to destruction of our country, Canada. And the UPC supporters shall let those who do not agree with the UPC/conservatives remain silenced at best, or gladly render them expendable, enemies, even if they are fellow citizens including neighbours, fathers, mothers, sisters and bothers (friends and family).

  11. The Sovereignty Act is a conscious attempt, by the Premier, to create her own reality. It is a false reality. Our premier appears to believe bringing the Trudeau government to heel will cause Alberta’s ills to disappear. Eliminate the federal carbon tax and inflation is defeated. Eliminate federal jurisdiction over resource extraction and oil and gas will flow freely and the province will be awash in cash. Ignore years of curriculum development and force through an outdated version written by your hand picked supporters and test results will improve.

    When faced with serious problems a false reality makes it impossible to find solutions. A carbon levy rebated to Albertans is not the cause of inflation. A worldwide virus causing severe restrictions in production and transport of goods is a cause of inflation. The invasion of Ukraine causing higher fuel costs is a cause of inflation. Blaming a carbon levy for inflation will not work in the real world.

    In my world, the real world, my provincial government should be focused, at the least, on three urgent issues. Improving the health care system, alleviating the burden of inflation and improving the education system. Instead the UCP are laser focused on igniting a constitutional crisis and leading a crusade to remove the scourge of a Liberal government. The UCP are not going to improve, let alone solve, serious issues living in their world.
    Believe in truth
    https://twitter.com/timgrecco/status/1349603907807432707

  12. Correct me if I am misunderstanding Ms. Smith’s take on the constitution. Essentially hers is an American conceptualization where the states have the lion’s share of legislative powers, and the federal government is responsible for and enjoys exclusive powers over whatever remains.

    1. It’s the new TV mini-series, “Revenge of the Whiskey Traders”, written by Danielle Smith. It starts out with the long trek west by the North-West Mounted Police, and ends with the RCMP making the long trek east on horseback to their homeland, Ottawa. Everything in between is made-up nonsense. I think the sequel is a docu-drama about the origin of shearling coats, starring Darwin, the IKEA monkey. The official announcement will be made today — Friday — at 4:45 p.m.

      https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Canadian_History/The_Whiskey_Traders_and_the_NWMP

  13. “Alberta separatists” . . . are composed of useful idiots and stooges [political and otherwise]; weak minded, emotional tribal acolytes; and the ‘intellectual’ principals responsible for the creation and formulation of the [separatist] policy framework and its strategic implementation.

    Apparently, one particular, assumed intellectual seems to be consumed by an obsessive compulsive monomania involving the American War of Independence and its specious association with the historical ‘trials and tribulations’ involving Alberta and Ottawa.

    Where the fulfillment of the fantasy [“This] means that if Westerners are serious about independence we must have American assistance for the same reason that the Thirteen Colonies required the assistance of France.” Which is a statement that is apparently advocating and counselling for an armed insurrection “with the intent of “accomplishing a governmental change within Canada” without the authority of law.”

    https://www.westernstandard.news/features/barry-cooper-challenges-for-western-independence/article_bf90e662-ca5e-5ea2-8968-6e84f3baa01b.html

    That is interesting, is it not? Why is that the case?

    We are informed that, “Sedition is commonly defined as words or speech that cause citizens to rebel against the government or governing authority.”

    And where, “The Supreme of Canada (SCC) has defined sedition (Boucher v. the King, 1950 CanLII 2 (SCC), [1951] SCR 265) as any practice, “whether by word, deed or in writing – calculated to disturb the tranquillity of the State, and lead ignorant persons to endeavour to subvert the Government and the laws of the empire.”

    And, “According to s.59 (4) of the Code, seditious intention can be generally defined as advocating any course of action with the intent of “accomplishing a governmental change within Canada” without the authority of law.”

    Seditious intention

    (4) Without limiting the generality of the meaning of the expression seditious intention, every one shall be presumed to have a seditious intention who

    (a) teaches or advocates, or

    (b) publishes or circulates any writing that advocates,
    the use, without the authority of law, of force as a means of accomplishing a governmental change within Canada.

    https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-59.html

    Furthermore, from the same ‘intellectual’:

    “On the other hand, when political groups are perceived to be a direct threat to the regime, seditious conspiracy is a good way to remove the threat in order to decide, at leisure, whether it is real. Even democracies need to defend themselves.”

    https://c2cjournal.ca/2010/03/whatever-happened-to-treason/

    Interesting, is it not, this ‘withering away of the modern state’? “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” And so it is.

  14. There was no sign of Finance Minister Travis Toews, Municipal Affairs Minister Rebecca Schulz, Jobs and Northern Development Minister Brian Jean, or Trade Minister Rajan Sawhney
    Nothing like seeing cabinet solidarity in action.

    @Dave December 9, 2022 at 6:38 am
    profiles in almost courage
    Lovely!

    Oops Joe Friesenhan December 9, 2022 at 12:33 pm beat me to it but the same question.

    Any reason that you are calling Atabay Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals a a sketchy Turkish company , other than the obvious one that a UCP minister is signing a deal with them? From the very brief internet search I did, I could not see any particular problems. It looked like a mid-level drug producer that’s been around since before WWII.

    1. jrkrideau, my first reaction was why Turkey?? does it have something to do with S.Harper ?
      cross reference: the Tyee –Conservative politicians are flirting with Authoritarianism, July 17-2020 .. ..along with other articles about him where Erdogan is mentioned. So I expanded my search and came across the Dr Oz connection, and knowing Danielle’s seeming penchant for, how shall we say, questionable medical advice….you can draw your own conclusions from the information that I was able to access up to this point. See earlier post…..Cheers

  15. When you think the UCP can’t go any lower, they certainly manage to outdo themselves. I don’t know how Albertans manage to put up with the UCP’s very foolish and very costly antics. Why they enable it is mindboggling. In Brooks Medicine Hat, many people didn’t even bother to vote in the by-election. If they have, we would likely see a different outcome.

  16. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of a dedicated public servant in the game for the welfare of the people being honored contrasted with the serial grifter party who disappear from their “public service” the instant that they are not in total control. Where’s Kenney and his devotion to Alberta now? Dani with her night time antics shouldn’t quit her day job.

  17. DJC, you probably have a better handle on this, I keep coming up against pay walls, so only some headlines I can access…

    1.Edmonton ctv news .ca
    Danielle Smith donates $60K from Go Fund Me to JCCF…..which IMHO seems to be quite the story all in itself and not that she would care, but isn’t that a conflict of interest at the very least, considering that the said JCCF has outstanding court cases against the GofA…(*still trying to find what they are)

    2. Same page: Twitter. com Ziad Fazel — Oct 11 ……had some interesting comments.

    and also on his site, “why Atabay”

    I came across the the article while searching, and while taking everything with a certain bit of scepticism on social media, there was some information that raised the eyebrows.

    I’m left with the impression that Dani & Co. have been at this ” destructive ” mode for alot longer than people realize, and as long as Albertans ignore what is going on, and with the other Premiers following her lead, we are heading for the same twilight as the neighbors, and it makes me sad, but also angry that not enough voices are being raised to put a stop to this.

  18. David, I have a question about a previous article if you would indulge me please. Whatever happened with the UCP demands that all of the University of Athabasca staff having to relocate to Athabasca? Was this dropped after Kenney lost the leadership race?

    1. Darcy: The Alberta government continues to interfere in the operations of Athabasca University. They fired experts in distance eduction from the board and replaced them with with local UCP hacks. However, while sticking to their demand that all senior administrators and some other staff will have to move to Athabasca, they have considerably reduced the numbers that will have to make the forced march to Athabasca to about 25. It is likely that none of the current senior administrators will make the move, and whether or not this destroys the university remains a topic of debate. Charles Rusnell has done some excellent reporting on this topic for the Tyee. Here’s one story. And here’s another. DJC

  19. So, where will all this finally go?

    Based on some of the discussions I’ve heard among the loonier people I know, there is conviction that Danielle Smith’s interpretation of what Canada is, a quasi-EU federation as opposed to what is actually is, a well over a centuries old defined confederation, is the correct and the only one that should matter. In addition, these people are convinced that the US is the better model that Canada should have followed in the first place. All Alberta has to do is tell Ottawa where to go. In other words, it’s #AGTOW. (Alberta Goes Its Own Way) While this appropriation of the comical #MGTOW Internets meme has some appeal among the angrier, emotionally impaired, terminally single online netizens, I have noticed something of a creep of this alternate reality into the real world. I suspect the belief is that if they can’t get rid of PMJT by election (Because they all rigged) just “ghost” him. Alberta stops talking to Ottawa (and maybe the rest of Canada) and does what it wants based on its own manufactured reality. While this may have appeal in the nebulous rules of the online world, it’s not how adults are supposed to act.

    Since Smith has decided to tie herself to the weirdo fantasies of the emotionally impaired among Alberta’s voters, it’s interesting to see how some have dropped into line behind her reasoning of reality. Of note, David Staples has become a prolific defender of everything Smith says, however, ridiculous it is. Staples, it should be noted, is a Postmedia hack/village idiot, who seems to wear many hats of expertise these days. In a recent missive, he seems to have declared himself a constitutional expert and has denounced Canada as a fraud scheme that has gone on for far too long. Following through with the claims of the more vocal of the Alberta sovereigntist crowd, Staples declares that Canada (Ottawa, Ontario and Quebec) are raping the abundance of Alberta, treating it like a colony. This is one of the more meat headed arguments that has been thrown around for many decades. It’s a basket of claims, usually made by already very wealthy westerners who just want to get that much wealthier by promoting US-style everything to the frothing at the mouth FreeDUMB mob. Of course, using the claim that they are as abused as First Nations peoples is pretty rich, so much so that First Nations leadership has pretty much told Smith she can shove her ASWAUCA, because they were never consulted on it.

    Where will all this lead? I suspect that with the coming election, Smith will make Alberta FreeDUMB the one and only issue, because she can’t win on anything else. But arguing for FreeDUMB may be a non-starter as well, so why have an election in 2023?

  20. Danielle Smith is incorrect — and so is Barry Cooper — that provinces are “independent” sovereignties. In fact, they are federated sovereignties. That means each province relinquishes the minimum amount of its sovereignty in order a federation can function.

    Naturally each province has distinctive Terms of Union related to its former status, (Crown colony, territory, or charter), treaties settled with indigenous nations prior to its confederation, its geographic position, and so forth. Each province is unique in terms of number for Senate seats (but only Alberta had a cow about the Senate: BC had a calf, but only because the partisan right wanted to call an NDP Premier “Bonehead” because he allegedly didn’t get enough seats in the actually moot arrangement of appointees). There are so many things a Canadian conspiracy theorist could reinterpret without necessarily resorting to blaming “Ottawa” or “Quebec.”

    Why does Mr Cooper have to clarify that he’s upset with Quebec, not with Francophones? I suppose he might have been advised that the hateful tone he seethes while asserting that Alberta has been forced to pay billions to Quebec (it’s actually federal transfer of some of the federal taxes all Canadian taxpayers would have to pay in any event, transfer or not) sounds kinda bigoted —so he includes this self-absolution that it only sounds like bigotry.

    Both he and Smith claim Canada is trying to shut down Alberta’s bitumen industry (forgetting that it was the courts, not federal politicians or Quebec Sasquatches that found Northern Gateway pipeline failed procedurally on environmental and constitutional grounds because the HarperCons tried to rush it through). They also forgot that Canada is paying for the TMX pipeline to Burnaby and that if Canadian federation means what they say it is, BC would nix TMX in a heartbeat. They’re trying to redefine federation into something more like a confederacy.

    Smith tells Ottawa to “stay in its own lane” while she and Cooper swerve all over the road with nuggets of constitutional revisionism. They’re like Hunter S Thompson and his Samoan companion counting the different kinds of drugs they’ve brought along for the road trip.

    They don’t want to govern: they want to throw a wrench into the gears of government. From the grim faces on the UCP side of the aisle, it looks more like Smith has thrown a wrench into each one of them. It is a test of endurance: how long before the seating gets unbearably uncomfortable?

  21. “’It’s not like Ottawa is a national government,’ the premier said.” Would someone please check Hansard? I suspect the next entry was, “Some Hon. Members: laughter.”

  22. DJC, regarding Keith Wilson,
    from the Tyee— Does Keith Wilson look like a revolutionary to you ,Feb 4,2011 ….how times have changed….at least imho, he seems to have 180’d what he was against into the basis for the convoy protesters. The Toronto Star headline about Danielle being hijacked by them, almost makes sense, if you don’t follow all the other news, It’s getting even worse, because the “truckers ” were at it again in Vancouver, now they are “mandating freedom ” ,which is beyond irony, and they say their objective is to make Trudeau resign….I’m at the point of swearing, getting too old for this—- , how do stop these morons.
    Sorry, for the rant …not necessary for printing

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